Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Shadowed Path by Simon Stone review

In the west the ancient empire of Prast crumbles, an old man too sick to climb out of his deathbed. To the east an upstart nation of sun worshipers spread their heathen ways, swallowing up city-states and small kingdoms as they tread ever closer to Prast’s borders. War is inevitable. A war greater and more bloodthirsty than any seen since the old gods left the world.
And yet, war is as nothing compared to the greatest danger.

The Shadowland.

A vast swathe of corrupted jungles, deserts and mountains, saturated in malevolence. Ever since the time of myth it has separated east from west, a mark on the world to remind all men of the anger of their gods. Now it has begun to spread, spewing out its deadly creatures on the nations, threatening to corrupt and consume everything.

Only one man carries the key to stopping the Shadowland’s progress. A man battered and scarred from his years alone in its deadly grasp. To stop it he must first make a friend of his greatest enemy…

…and then he must enter the Shadowland again…

4 stars

The Shadowed Path takes place in a Roman like world starting out with a gladiatorial scene that unveils the most unique race of the book, the inhumanii.  This race specializes in guiding people through the horribly dark forest that separates the Parsian Empire from the rest of the world.  The warriors are called waystalkers and they are completely unable to raise their arms against the empire ensuring their continuing slavery.

The story follows a group of merchants travelling through the forest in order to make their fortunes.  When their inhumanii guides turn out to be fake the caravan gets attacked and almost wiped out.  There are only three survivors who have bonded for life after making it through the trials in the forest.

I really enjoyed the book as the similarity to Roman times has always intrigued me.  The characters were well done although towards the end I really didn't like the way that Tyacles started to act.  The special armor that the waystalkers used was also a very cool idea that I would like to see some more info on as the series progresses. This is one that I will be following this series for certain.

For more info check out the Amazon page or go to the author's website.

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